Author ORCID Identifier
Oksana Vysoven: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0061-2301
Yuriy Figurnyi: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6463-0920
Valentyna Molotkina: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6092-5927
Nina Brehunets: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7328-3927
The article analyzes the repressive policy of the occupiers during the undeclared Russian-Ukrainian hybrid war against the religious communities of Ukraine in 2014–2022. It has been established that the “russian world'' is a neo-imperial, geopolitical, ideological doctrine aimed at the theoretical substantiation and practical restoration of the "great historical Russia" within the borders of the Russian Empire at the peak of its power in 1914. By way of the "russian world," an important "soft power" of the Kremlin, Russia first planned to capture the mental space of Ukraine and the brains of its citizens; then, if necessary, they would deploy troops and annex this territory to their state. The Russian Orthodox Church played an important role in Russia's neo-imperial plans, as it was an active embodiment of the “russian world" in the spiritual, political, cultural, and humanitarian spaces of Ukraine. Russia's undeclared war against Ukraine and Ukrainians, which began in 2014 and temporarily occupied a large part of Ukraine, was a real ordeal for the Ukrainian state and its citizens and a terrible tragedy for believers of all faiths. Examples of crimes against humanity committed by Russian terrorist forces on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine against religious communities are highlighted. The consequences of the criminal and aggressive policy of the Kremlin and the "russian world" introduced by the Russian terrorist forces and its impact on the situation of believers are shown. There are two tendencies that characterize the attitude of the Russian aggressors and their servants towards the believers of different denominations in Ukraine. During the first stage of the hybrid war (February 20, 2014 – February 23, 2022) the occupiers and their proxies on the temporarily occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine (parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions) and Crimea in accordance with the "russian world" doctrine favorized the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, because they rightly considered it their ally in the conquest of Ukraine. During the second phase of the fullscale aggression of Russian troops (February 24, 2022) and the collapse of the so-called Russian blitzkrieg, the occupiers became inhumane and began destroying religious buildings, killing clergy and believers regardless of religion.
Vysoven, Oksana; Figurnyi, Yuriy; Molotkina, Valentyna; and Brehunets, Nina
"Repressive Policy of the Occupiers During Hybrid War Against Religious Communities of Ukraine, 2014-2022,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 42
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol42/iss6/3